Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Start-Up FlixMaster Debuts Cloud-Based Video Editor

The last time I was in Colorado, I encountered a Web video start-up called FlixMaster.

Its basic pitch is to make the ubiquitous Web videos we encounter every day a lot more navigable. The basic problem it solves is the one where users stop watching a video because in their mind it’s going on too long, or because they wanted to get to a particular highlight point in the video and don’t have the patience to wait for it.

FlixMaster’s offering is a software-as-service video technology that makes Web video a lot more interactive than it generally is today. Customers are more likely to get engaged with a video you’re using to hook them, if you can increase viewing time by making the video more readily navigable. The resulting clips are HTML5 compatible, meaning they can play on the iPad and all the other tablets and smartphones that support it.

When I last saw the demo at a venture capital conference in Beaver Creek, it wasn’t a fully available service. Today at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, FlixMaster demonstrated an updated version of the service that includes a full-service Web-based video editor, an API to its video player, and other features. It’s available today in a freemium service that anyone can try, with unlimited access to its features. Upgrades from there include scaled pricing and an enterprise version that includes access to the player API. One customer is NBC/Universal, which has used FlixMaster to create Web videos to promote extra online episodes of its show “Covert Affairs,” in which the viewer can affect the outcome by making choices along the way.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald